Removal / Relocation of Class J Builder Plates

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Sep 2 20:34:20 EDT 2013

The plates on 611-613 as built in 1950 were located just below the running board. We didn't know where they were until later when we discovered the plate relocated on a K2. Anyway, shortly after the 611-613 were built, N&W started moving the plates below the running boards on the K2's, K2a's and all the other J's. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. The only thing I can think of is that somebody either felt that the appearance of the plate detracted from the streamlining....or....somebody didn't want people to realize how OLD the K2's and K2a's were. Problem with that guess is that the 611-613 were the first to have hidden plates, and they were brand new!
Jim Nichols

From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
To: nw-mailing-list at
Sent: Monday, September 2, 2013 2:41 PM
Subject: Removal / Relocation of Class J Builder Plates

Just curious about the removal or relocation of Class J builder plates over the years.
It seems that photos show Class J 600-610 builder plates to be located on the sides of the smoke box above the running board until sometime in the late 40’s.
After that they seem to have been removed or relocated. What was the reason for this and where did they go?
Also it seems that Class J 611-613 never had them located on the side of the smoke box based on the famous 611 builder photos taken just west of the Jefferson St. x’ing in May 1950. Where were they installed as built?
John Garner
Newport, VA
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